Spencerville Historical Museum119 E. Fourth Street
Spencerville, OH 45887
Spencerville Historical Museum
The Spencerville Historical Museum preserves the town’s history through its wide-ranging displays. Local historians will appreciate the large collection of photographs and archival material from the Spencerville area and the displays detailing clubs, education, and military service will engage a wide audience.
The Spencerville Historical Museum documents the early settlement of Spencerville through the 1950s. Visitors can explore the businesses of a typical small American town through the artifact displays and archival records stored there. Notable exhibits include the handwritten store records and travel journals of Spencerville’s general store owners from the 1870s through 1910. A display of two Spencerville doctors’ medical equipment shows how medicine was practiced in the early twentieth century, down to a portable birthing table used for delivering babies in patients’ homes.
The Spencerville Historical Museum houses a significant collection of World War I and II memorabilia from servicemen and women. Letters and unpublished autobiographies are displayed alongside uniforms, photos, and the artwork from popular music of the time. Other hallmarks of daily life, such as a recreated kindergarten schoolroom and a furnished kitchen, allow visitors to experience life in the 1940s and 50s.
Originally an outpost along the Ohio canal system, immigrants flocked to Spencerville to build businesses and homes during the nineteenth century. Like many small towns in the post-Civil War era, Spencerville residents became intensely involved in many voluntary organizations, including the Grange, scouting, and volunteer fire departments. These clubs and community groups provided vital services and offered links between local chapters and state or national organizations. The Spencerville Historical Museum offers a fascinating look into the clubs of the 1900s-1950s that will interest current members of the Boy Scouts or the Grange and history buffs alike.
Notes for Travelers
The Spencerville Historical Museum offers side lot parking and steps are required to navigate the Museum. Appointments can be made to view the Museum’s archival collections outside of normal hours.
Additional ResourcesCohen, Lizabeth. A Consumer’s Republic: The Politics of Consumption in Postwar America. New York: Knopf, 2003.
Scott, David C. and Brendan Murphy. The Scouting Party: Pioneering and Preservation, Progressivism and Preparedness in the Making of the Boy Scouts of America. Irving, TX: Red Honor Press, 2010.